MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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1954 PRESTWICK DISASTER COVER and GREAT BRITAIN AMBULANCE COVER to JAMAICA
1954 charred edge back and front of cover pmk'd London 23 XII 54 together with contents to R.H. Ridler, Barclays Bank Ltd, Kingston, Jamaica, B.W.I. requiring completion of its journey, due such distressed condition, by Great Britain Post Office O.H.M.S. ambulance cover, both covers struck with purple boxed "SALVAGED MAIL/AIRCRAFT CRASH/PRESTWICK 25-12-54"., flap of latter poorly opened.
BOAC Boeing 377 Stratocruiser crashed on landing at Prestwick Airport in the early hours of Christmas Day 1954, 28 of the 36 onboard were killed.
£325

EXHIBITION COVER SHORT-LIVED 14 CORNER DOTS GREAT BRITAIN QV 1d LILAC to BARBADOS
1881 cover with five copies GB QV 1d Venetian red and seven copies GB QV 1d lilac (SG.166,170) pmk'd London S.W/32 duplex dated AU 2 81 to Mrs. Belfield, Chelston, Barbados being the penultimate 1/- rate prior switching to the 4d U.P.U. rate on SP 1 1881, backstamped BARBADOES AU 18 1881 dbl-arc arrival clear of largely missing flap. A spectacular exhibition cover for the short band of use 14 dots in each corner GB QV 1d lilac.
The 1d Venetian red stamps do not have the Orbs watermark error Cat.£27,000 apiece.
£600

PONDICHERRY, FRENCH INDIAN SETTLEMENTS to MAURITIUS postal history
1867 REYNAUD SOUPRAYA & Co, PONDICHERY sender cachet entire with strip of four QV 2a orange pmk'd PONDICHERRY "111" duplex dated FE 11 67 to Piper Adam & Co, Mauritius backstamped Madras transit and 2/MR 2 67 arrival, address panel with handstruck "6d TO PAY" in black. Exhibition item.
£1250


10 (used Brighton), TASMANIA postal history
1861 cover "per Tasmania" to James S. Harrison, 22 Charlotte Place, Sydney, New South Wales with Chalon 2d slate-green pair (uneven setting), single superbly pmk'd "10" numerals with red PRE-PAID 4 SP 1861 alongside, reverse Sydney C/SP 9 61 arrival.
James Start Harrison (1837-1902) arrived Sydney in January 1849 with his parents after a voyage of 157 days on board the Penyard Park and eventually took up the profession of an accountant working with the new partnership formed 1861 of Alexander Learmonth & Samuel Dickinson, merchant and commission agents. He is best known as a philanthropist and local newspapers capture his interests and service given to the Sydney Ragged Schools, Sydney City Mission, Sydney Female Refuge.
£3500



SPAIN/GIBRALTAR combination requiring Forwarding Agent, Gibraltar postal history (Ex MOELLER)
1873 entire headed "Cadiz 20th June 1873" to Poole, England with "p. Archbold Johnston & Power Gibraltar 24 June 1873" manuscript forwarding on reverse with GB QV 2d strip of three affixed and pmk'd "A26" with GIBRALTAR A/JU 24 73. No Spanish charge as sent in another cover to Gibraltar from Cadiz. Very rare as such, Ex MOELLER.
The Carlist Civil War caused intermittent interruptions to the overland route to the UK, and the maritime route from Gibraltar became a more reliable alternative but required the use of a Forwarding Agent in Gibraltar. (Of the Gibraltar/Spain adhesive combination covers currently seen 15 are ingoing to Cadiz, and only 4 are outgoing, all to Malta).
£750

AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE CASE OF "O.R.", Victoria postal history
1876 interrupted mail cover to Horse Shoe Bend with QV 1d, 2d pmk'd Sandhurst "4" duplex dated B/MY 29 76. Marked in manuscript "O.R." (Officially Registered) as it contained something of value contrary to law with two strikes framed REGISTERED and oval MORE TO PAY appended "6d" in matching ink. Some faults, soiling and backstamped Redesdale Victoria MY 30 76 clear of missing flap. RPSV Certificate (2008).
The expectation is that the survival rate of Officially Registered covers, because they contained coin or other valuables, for the pre-1885 adhesive period is approximately 1 within every 10,000. This means that most countries can offer no examples. For the whole of the British West Indies group I record only one cover which was compulsorily registered.
£1650



SAILOR'S LETTER WITH CONCESSION RATE PAID BY 1d COIN, Antigua postal history
1845 entire headed May 26th 1845 from John King, Master at Arms on board Her Majesty's Ship Pique, Antigua (a naval soldier responsible for discipline and law enforcement aboard a ship) countersigned Horace Baker (Lieutenant & Commanding Officer) to his wife in Devonshire Buildings in Bath without the customary manuscript "1d paid" in red ink (as applied on land) but with his last ("my last") GB QV 1d coin sewn alongside the address panel confirmed by London PAID JU 20 1845 transit (not deemed overweight or subject to additional charge). Although a few dozen Soldier's Letters are recorded for the prestamp period this seems to be the only recorded accepted stampless Sailor's Letter from the BWI prior 1850. Contents include mention of discovery that the Foremast is so rotten, and a portion sent to the Admiralty with expectation of being ordered Home by September unless the mast is ordered to be built at Halifax or Port Royal "which I do not think they will do now the ship is three years in Commission". (Between 1841 and 1846 Pique, a sailing frigate with 36 guns, served on the North America and West Indies Station, on 10 March 1842 the Illustrious (see David Pitts lots 39, 159), with the Pique, Fair Rosamond and Spitfire departed Barbados for Antigua and Jamaica).
A scan of the entire has been mounted on card and an actual 1845 1d coin has been sewn on with hemp, using the original 7 in and 7 out needle holes, to simulate how it could have looked, although it was on reverse in actual transit. Only one other BWI prepayment by sewn 1d coin entire is known written January 24th 1847 and posted on land with ANTIGUA double arc JA 27 1847 on a Soldiers Letter (ex Gerald Sattin) to a shoe maker in Edinburgh, the coin evidently was also sewn to the reverse as the circumference of the sewing holes obscure the frontal addressing.
£6500

RARE LATE RE-INTRODUCTION MARSEILLES ROUTE, Ceylon postal history
1871 cover marked "per French Steamer Via Marseilles" to London with DLR 1d blue, 1/- reddish violet pmk'd A/COLOMBO/DE 19 71 duplex with clear red London Paid 15 JA 72 arrival, reverse red Galle Paid DE 20 71 transit cds.
The Franco-Prussian War saw the closure of the overland Marseilles 1/1d route to the UK with mail being switched to the Brindisi route (initially 1/4d, reduced 1/- early 1870). The surface route via Southampton stayed at 9d. After the German victory in 1871 two covers are recorded with 1/1d rate by French steamer (other OC 23 71 with 5d, 8d to Aberdeen). These short-lived late uses come just before the introduction of new currency JA 1 1872. The last Pence issue sailing via Brindisi was DE 26 71
£1000




The MUSTIQUE ISLAND carriage labels - "No mint copies exist"
This is the only known 10c yellow mint sheetlet of two labels, produced circa 1971, in fresh unmounted mint condition (small gum disturbance at lower right), accompanied by both 10c yellow label on inaugural first flight cover dated 1 SEP 1971 which terminated the private conveyance service, and subsequent Urch Harris "ballot" order form for supply of the four covers. Lord Glenconnor, Colin Tennant, owner of Mustique island conceived the idea of 10c labels to privately convey island mail, with Government consent from the Hon. Hudson Tannis, Minister for Communications & Works, by more flexible regular use of small aircraft to mainland St. Vincent circumventing the slower and less frequent by boat service offered by the Mustique Post Office. Four differing colour same design labels were printed, and stocks ultimately depleted when they were affixed, alongside St. Vincent GPO issues, to SP 1 1971 first day covers for the official inaugural flight Mustique to St. Vincent. Cancelling of the covers was firstly undertaken by Doreen Simon, the Mustique schoolmistress who doubled as the island post mistress, and secondly by the mainland Kingstown G.P.O., and the bulk were carried back to London by a member of the Mustique management team in a suitcase via Luxembourg (accompanied by Princess Margaret). The Bristol based Urch Harris company, famed for their distribution of new issues
The Urch Harris catalogue listed printing quantities as 10c orange (2000), 10c blue (550), 10c yellow (250), 10c mauve (70). The Wilson figures for both blue and yellow are inaccurate and the estimated use for yellow labels used on inaugural flight covers is 234 leaving 14 labels (or 7 sheetlets) unaccounted for. No "earlier" service 10c orange labels are known on cover. Accompanied by scan of BWISC Bulletin article being the UH copied source for quantities affixed to first flight covers.
£1200



OFFICERS 10d CONCESSION and CIVILIAN 1/1d SAME DAY SAILING, CEYLON postal history
TWO COVERS TRAVELLING ON THE SAME DATE VIA MARSEILLES to ENGLAND, the first with exceptionally rare (1 of only 2 known) OFFICERS CONCESSION RATE of 10d endorsed "Chichester/Cap. A.D.C." to his daughter in London pmk'd COLOMBO B/JY 3 69 backstamped London AU 2 69, the second with standard 1/1d rate to Axminster, Devon pmk'd COLOMBO B/JY 2 69 backstamped Axminster A/AU 3 69, both with missing flaps. An exceptional pairing.
Officers did not mark their mail for the privilege postage rate of 6d per ½oz (plus any Foreign Rate) unless there was a savings. There was no advantage on U.K. mail when rates were 6d via Southampton and 10d via Marseilles, but increases to 9d and 1/1d respectively on FE 1 1868 allowed a savings of 3d (as seen on the above cover). The concessionary rate was withdrawn DE 31 1869 so savings were only possible over a 23 month period.
£3750



MUSTIQUE ISLAND stamps: The currently only known 10c blue MUSTIQUE COMPANY LIMITED mint sheetlet
Produced circa 1971 in fresh unmounted mint condition, small surface abrasion lower right edge.
550 blue labels were printed and an estimated 525 blue labels used up on the inaugural flight covers which terminated the private conveyance service. Only an estimated 25 labels (or 12 sheetlets) remain unaccounted for. No earlier service 10c blue labels are known on cover. One 10c blue label is illustrated in Nicholas Courtney's book (available internet) alongside later cover which importantly shows the handwriting style of Colin Tennant matching the unique proving cover of the earlier service
£850




MUSTIQUE ISLAND stamps: The currently only known 10c orange MUSTIQUE COMPANY LIMITED mint sheetlet
Produced circa 1971 in fresh unmounted mint condition accompanied by 10c orange label on inaugural first flight cover dated 1 SEP 1971 which terminated the private conveyance service. This is the only known 10c orange mint sheetlet.
2,000 orange labels were printed. 1,931 orange labels used up on inaugural flight covers, 69 labels (or 34 sheetlets) remain unaccounted for. No earlier service 10c orange labels known on cover. Accompanied by scan of BWISC Bulletin article featuring discovery of sheet format for these labels.
£625





PRINCESS MARGARET'S HOUSE, MUSTIQUE, a unique hand-written letter
Death of its designer Oliver Messel: A rare letter hand-written by HRH Princess Margaret expressing sadness on hearing of the death of Oliver Messel who was commissioned by the Hon. Colin Tennant to design her house, Les Jolies Eaux, on Mustique written July 21 1978, she lovingly writes "I luckily have a living monument to him in the shape of my house in Mustique which he designed"
£1800

ST. VINCENT stamps:
1883 DLR QV 1d drab ovp'd "Revenue" with OVERPRINT INVERTED (PML.9), the only example showing clear date of "31/12/83", minor blemish one perf. tip. Only four examples from a single sheet of 60 stamps are currently known to have survived.
The three other examples dated "15/12/83" (faults, Peter Jaffe lot 537), "15/12/83" (fine), and "29/12/83" (illus. PML handbook Page 147)
£2400



Via LISBONNE label, Portugal postal history
in deep blue with manuscript (V)or PORTUGAL affixed by hinge to collectors notes with reference to The Philatelist Vol. 17 No.7. Such labels being exceedingly rare.
Scans of green "Via Brindisi" labels on the only two known Malta covers for reference. The label was issued by Delfosse et Cie., Paris, and is believed to have been used to indicate the route for mail sorted on board ship, one label put on the top cover of a bundle.
£525

Exceptionally rare pre-U.P.U. INTERNALLY REGISTERED COVER, Jamaica postal history
1877 cover with QV 6d mauve CC wmk (SG.12) paying 2d postage and 4d registration tied both Kingston "A01" and JAMAICA/MY 3 77/REGISTERED d/ring oval to Wentworth (Estate), Port Maria, b/stamped C/MY 4 77 arrival, tone-speckling and small base tear lower right.
This is currently the only cover I can record with Jamaica's own adhesives period NO 23 1861 to AP 1 1879 (full membership UPU).
£375

NEW SOUTH WALES postal history:
1865 double 10d rate via Marseilles cover to The Viscountess Milton Osberton, Worksop, Notts with colourful franking QV 6d purple pair plus pair and two singles DLR QV 2d pale bue pmkd Sydney NO 22 1865, slight peripheral wear.
£325
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